Culture prioritizes conservation and exhibition over Spanish film production

The General State Budgets for 2022 left generally good feelings in the cultural sector: the Government will spend 1,589 million euros on cultural policies, almost 40% more than the previous year. The increase, also explained by the 364 million of the European contribution, caught by surprise a portfolio accustomed to the lack of liquidity especially during the mandate of Mariano Rajoy, which in 2013 reduced it to a record low of 721 million euros. However, not all programs have benefited from the new accounts.

The highest culture budgets in history forget about unprotected heritage

The highest culture budgets in history forget about unprotected heritage

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Miguel Iceta has appeared this Monday at a press conference to explain the budgets for his ministry, accompanied in addition to his management team and the president of the Higher Sports Council, José Manuel Franco. “Some budgets for the recovery”, has sentenced the Minister of Culture at the beginning of this appearance.

However, the conservation and restoration of cultural property will stop receiving 23,135,000 euros and will remain at 21,166,000 euros, that is to say 8.6% less than with the previous budgets. In addition, although museums increased 20.5% with respect to the previous item, the same did not happen with the amount allocated specifically to exhibitions, which was reduced by 28.3%. Something similar happens with cinematography, that although its endowment grows by 13.5%, the protection fund for cinematography does not, which is where the aid received by Spanish cinema comes from. This remains static at 70 million, the same amount that the PP granted to the sector in 2017 and which disappointed the sector.

Asked by about this aspect, the minister pointed out that “the budgets are a balance of income and expenses, and a balance is sought between different items.” In the case of cinema and the freezing of the film protection fund, Iceta argues that in this case the ministry’s priority has not been production. “We have not focused on production, but on other issues that seem equally relevant to us. For example, all the money from the cultural bonus that is in the cinema is not detailed in the budget, because I don’t know how much of this bonus goes to end up in the cinema. Let’s say 20%, which is 40 million euros more, “says the politician. He adds that the ministry has decided to give relevance to other aspects above the creation of films because, among other things, it was “very important to safeguard the film heritage that was about to disappear, hence the contribution to Filmoteca”.

In the case of the conservation and restoration of cultural property, the minister maintains that this item has increased “by 51 million euros.” “But we must remember that the investment in heritage not only corresponds to the Ministry of Culture, also the Autonomous Communities and the City Councils have powers,” he explained.

But from this game of 51 million it would be necessary to separate the more than ten million that are destined to the reform of Tabacalera and the remaining 40 will be distributed only among the Assets of Cultural Interest (BIC) of all the Autonomous Communities. This means that assets that do not have the maximum protection granted by law will not be part of these grants. According to the Yearbook of Culture 2020, real estate BICs are 17,199 and movable property, 23,400. However, very few will be privileged with European funds if we take into account that the repair of the roof of the Cathedral of Toledo will mean one million euros.

We have not focused on film production, but on other issues that seem equally relevant to us

The minister has not made reference to the decrease in the budget in the exhibitions program, although during the presentation of these data he gave clues to which institutions the allocation for art galleries will go. The Prado Museum will receive 9.7 million, also destined for the reform of the Hall of Kingdoms, the Reina Sofía 4 million, the Thyssen-Bornemisza 11 million and the Library of Spain 1.2 million. “We have asked these institutions for a great effort to move their collections and not stay alone in Madrid. But it is an effort that costs money, and part of these budgetary extensions have to do with the intention of bringing our heritage closer to the people, “the minister alleged.

On the other hand, one of the problems of the Ministry of Culture to which the previous minister, Rodríguez Uribes, referred, was to the lack of personnel to manage the calls and projects. In this sense, Iceta has highlighted that they are going to allocate an increase of 7 million euros in human resources that will translate into the incorporation of 500 officials to different areas of culture, from archives to the ministry itself.

For the rest, the Iceta press conference has been very focused on the presentation of the cultural voucher for young people that correspond to 210 million euros of the budget. “It has a basic meaning, which is to help create habits in young people and in the cultural sectors that the pandemic has mistreated.” The person in charge of the Ministry has not clarified specifically how the money from this voucher can be used, but points out that they do not want to “tell young people what to consume” and has once again emphasized that they do not have the idea of ​​”directing this cultural expenditure to bullfights ”


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